A pickle brine experiment gone awry
Pickles are my weakness. The way some people feel about chocolate, pizza, or scotch, I feel about a good, crisp pickle. A salty brine full of garlic, vinegar, and dill makes my mouth water like I’m Pavlov’s dogs. I can easily devour a jar in a single sitting, and I usually save the brine to drink for days afterwards.
Yes, I’m an animal.
I have a couple friends who feel as passionately about pickles as I do. So, I got the brilliant idea to make pickle brine cocktails. Great, thinking — right? The plan was to make a pickle-based take on the vodka martini. Brine, vodka, and a pickle/cocktail onion/lemon peel garnish. Add a side of cheese, crackers, and gherkins, and you’ve got yourself a time!
Unfortunately, this swamp water mix was doomed from the start.
I was stuck debating between cucumber- and regular-flavoured vodka, when I spotted a mason jar of vodka at the liquor store. A jar! How perfectly appropriate for a pickle party! I was buzzing with excitement thinking about the cocktail aesthetic. I do love a good theme.
I didn’t realize my mistake until I had already gotten home and begun setting up for an eve of mixology. It turns out, vodka doesn’t come in mason jars. It turns out, I accidentally bought moonshine.
I thought I could make it work. After all, the jars were still on theme. And who’s to say a moonshine martini wouldn’t be good?
Well, moonshine and pickle brine don’t mix, as you might imagine. The powerful flavours make for a potent, almost undrinkable cocktail. Bless their hearts, my friends did finish their toxic-looking drinks. It was definitely a one-time only experiment, though. We moved onto Gatorade and gin, and left the moonshine for another time.
I try to share my culinary successes on this blog, almost exclusively. But I think it’s important to recognize the stumbles and failures as well. This was such a bad idea for a cocktail. I can admit that, even with my robust love for pickles. I failed fast, I learned from it, and I definitely won’t make the same mistake again.
I would never recommend this recipe, but if you try to make a vodka or gin pickle martini, let me know how it goes! And if you need more inspiration for failing fast in the art of cuisine, check out a startup approach to cooking.